I love to cook, we’ve established that! But did I mention that I also love to paint icons? If you’ve been thinking I was noticeably absent for the past month, it’s because I was in Houston, Texas, installing icons in the dome of Saint Anthony Orthodox Church.
So, your “wannabe caterer” is also a byzantine iconographer.
At first glance, one might think that preparing a meal and painting an icon have little in common. But for me, they are nearly one and the same. Well, at least where it counts most. They are a means to an end. The “end” I refer to? Relationships. Relationships with family and friends, with people I’ve known all my life and those I’ve yet to meet – and, perhaps some I’ll never even meet at all! And of course, my relationship with God.
Cooking (along with the hospitality that follows) has been intertwined with my relationships for most of my life. It is how I knew my grandmother’s love; how I share my love with others; how I draw closer to God as I joyfully use the gifts He gave me to nurture those around me. I feel His presence in those moments as surely as if He were standing in front of me.
For me, painting icons follows much the same rhythm--I take what God has given me and prayerfully prepare it for others. My hope? That they will know Him through the icons; that they will be “fed” spiritually and thus draw closer to Him. My reward? That the journey (and the relationships that form along the way) feed me in ways unexpected and indescribable. God is good!
So keep cooking…or painting…or blogging…or jogging...or…or…or…so that God might continue to work through each of us, whatever our gifts may be!